How to Make an Offer

After weeks, and maybe months you have finally found the house you want to spend your life in. Now you need to make an offer. But how does one make an offer to ensure they get what they want? Since this is one of the biggest items you may ever buy, you’ll want to know what you’re doing. 

You will have tools and professionals on your side to keep your finances in order, and make your offer stand out, while protecting your money. From down payments to contingencies, escrow accounts to counter offers, here’s how you can sift through each phase and get the dream home. 

  1. Do your homework

In order to find a fair price you’re willing to pay you need to mw the local market and the seller. The best tool here is your real estate agent, hopefully they know what they’re doing. The next thing you can do is go online to real estate sites and search by zip codes. 

You’ll look at comparable home sales and that’ll give you an idea where the market is. Inquire about the history of the property and if any major additions, repairs, or undertakings have taken place, and when. Find out when the previous owner bought it and for how much. 

Then after all this research ask your real estate agent what they think is a fair price. They may have the most accurate price. 

  1. Have a lender in your corner 

Not many of us can pay cash for a house, so we need to get a mortgage and the sellers want proof. You’ll need to get pre approved by a lender. They’ll write out a certain amount you qualify for, and certain terms and conditions. A seller will ALWAYS take an offer from a buyer is who pre approved over one who is not. 

  1. Bring in the pros 

Unless you are a genius, you’ll want some professional help in this process because of house difficult it is. There’s so many moving parts and confusing terminology. 

Thus far we know we need a real estate agent, but we will also need a real estate attorney to protect us, and that our offer falls within the guidelines of the laws. 

The “purchase Agreement” is basically your offer. In this document there will be the date of the offer, the address of the property, the price offered for the home, finance terms, escrow details, closing dates, possession date, and any contingencies that need to be taken care of.

A popular contingency is one that requires the home be inspected and appraised. Before you sign the offer, make sure you understand 100% of it so nothing skews up on you. The person to go over your contract questions is your real estate lawyer. 

  1. Protect your money 

Your purchase agreement states what you are willing to throw down on a down payment. 

Your deposit will be stored in an escrow account and not the seller. This way the money can be sent back to you if the deal was to fall through. When the offer is accepted, the downpayment will be subtracted out of your account and into theirs. 

  1. Seal the deal 

When the times comes, take the offer to the seller, or their real estate agent via any preferred means. From here they will read your offer and decide if they like or don’t like it. 

They may make a counteroffer like possession date, new sale price, etc. Either you can accept their offer or submit a counter-counter offer. This will continue until both sides agree to terms, or one side gives up and backs out. 

When an offer is accepted by both parties, they will sign and the contract is now binding. From here you need to work wit your lawyer to make sure the rest of the process goes as smoothly as possible.

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